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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030095

Deciding on Discipline: The Importance of Parent Demeanor in the Transmission of Discipline Practices

Department of Sociology, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC 29502-0547, USA
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Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract

Although child abuse is a social problem in the United States, many cases go unreported because there is not a consensus as to what disciplinary actions are deemed abusive. Thus, it is paramount to understand the demarcation between physical punishment and physical abuse among parents and their use of certain forms of discipline. This study examines how discipline experienced by adolescent respondents affects their choice of discipline practices in adulthood. A random sample of residents was selected from three South Carolina counties using the 2016 state voter registration list. Respondents were mailed a survey asking questions pertaining to their disciplinary practices and experiences. Analyses were conducted using the ordinary least squares regression. Those who experienced abusive discipline as a child were significantly less likely to report that they use the same discipline techniques as their parents. However, adding parenting traits into the model revealed a mediation effect. Abusive discipline no longer plays a significant role in how respondents discipline their own children once the perceived demeanor of their parent is taken into consideration. These findings suggest that disciplinary techniques are less important than a parent’s attitude when correcting their children’s behavior. Implications for the current research, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: child abuse; intergenerational transmission; discipline; parental demeanor child abuse; intergenerational transmission; discipline; parental demeanor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Burke, J.L.; Doucet, J.M. Deciding on Discipline: The Importance of Parent Demeanor in the Transmission of Discipline Practices. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 95.

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